James St. Clair began his coaching career in 1915 at North Texas State. In 1924, he moved to Southern Methodist University as director of physical education. He was also head basketball coach for 13 seasons (1925-1937) and led the Mustangs to their first Southwest Conference title in 1935 and their first undisputed championship two years later. After retiring as coach, St. Clair became executive secretary of the Southwest Conference in 1938. His systematic approach to rules and officiating led to his appointment as chairman of the NCAA Basketball Rules Committee. St. Clair was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1983.